The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

August 2, 2016

August 2, 2000

Least some readers assume an enthusiam for cats is a phenomenon of the internet age, we point out  the cat jokes of a man driven mad by cat lovers, in the 1960s.

Cat-hater's Handbook, or, the Ailurophobe's Delight was written and edited (it has an anthology section) by William Cole (November 20, 1919 to August 2, 2000). Worldcat dates the first edition to 1963. Cole blurbs---

What’s so cute about an animal that loves absolutely nothing, makes your house smell terrible, and has a brain the size of an under-developed kidney bean? At last, a book that dares to answer these and other feline questions with the sane and sensible answer:
Not a damned thing!

and so it goes. Light verse, and eighty more books of it. As one site summarized:

William Rossa Cole, author, co-author, or editor of over 80 books of poetry, humor, and children’s stories, passed away in August of 2000. He was the grandson of the Irish national hero, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.

Of course this is all a joke, who does not chuckle at the title Cole uses. My estimation of this author though, expanded a lot when I learned that Seamus Heaney wrote a poem for him after Cole died. 

As Dante when he entered Purgatory
Was greeted by Casella, and the song
Casella sang sweetened his memory
Of earthly love and music and their long
Afternoons of wine and poetry,
So I, when I heard that William Cole had gone
Among the shades, imagined him and me
Meeting in an earthly paradise
Where we’d never met on earth, in Co. Derry,
On the banks of the Moyola, and his voice
Rising to sing in an Irish tenor brogue
MacCormack might have envied, or James Joyce,
Or Moore in Avoca, by Avonmore and Beg,
River-rhyming, over-brimming, young
At heart again, and younger song by song—
For always Bill belonged in Tir na n-Og.

(Moyola is a river in North Ireland. Tir na n-Og is glossed as “land of youth” in Irish.)

Seamus Heaney wrote a poem about William Cole. I have been put in my small place.

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